What Do I Ask My New Dentist?
You will probably be both excited and nervous about visiting your new dentist. Remember, this is a service for you. You should always be able to tailor the experience to your needs. Here are some questions you can ask your new dentist:
Are you affiliated with my employer’s healthcare plan?
Set yourself up with good habits by making dental visits more likely to occur. Any reduction in the cost of a visit will help. You can schedule cleaning and maintenance more frequently.
What type of fillings do you provide?
Metal fillings are a thing of the past. Dentists now use a white composite material which is both inert and non-metallic. This makes ice cream headaches less likely.
Will I get an enamel-strength test every time I come in for a cleaning?
This is standard procedure for all dental cleanings. Your dental hygienist will assign a number to each of your teeth as he or she works through your mouth. Be sure and ask your dental hygienist what numbers are good and what numbers are negative. He or she will show you where your brushing is missing essential areas.
I have sensitive teeth. Will you use lukewarm water when cleaning my teeth?
You can remind your dental hygienist of this every time you visit. You have sensitive teeth. You want lukewarm or warm water to be used on them at all times. Speak up immediately if the water ever turns cold.
Do you provide oral surgery or do you refer this out?
It is rare that a dentist’s office will also provide maxillofacial surgery (oral surgery). Typically, this is referred out to an oral surgeon’s office. However, if they have an oral surgeon in their office or stationed nearby, you can get a consultation without having to make two separate appointments.
Do you work evenings or weekends?
This is a great option to know about if you don’t often get time off during the day or you want to devote yourself to your work regularly. This way, you won’t have to choose between today’s salary and your dental care.
What is the protocol in an emergency situation?
Most dentist’s offices have an emergency number to call if you’re in a fight, mugging, car accident, fall, etc. You will want to get immediate dental help in these situations so that your teeth and gums heal correctly and immediately.
How often will I be evaluated by the dentist himself/herself?
Most of your visits will involve cleaning or some type of lower-level evaluation. Make sure that you see your dentist himself/herself at least twice a year. This will ensure that your experience is treated with the greatest professionalism and the greatest expert care.
Always advocate for yourself and speak out about your needs and desires
This is the most critical step in visiting your new or old dentist. You must advocate for yourself. You must speak up about your needs and desires, ask as many questions as possible, and inform yourself on the issues in your mouth. If a procedure doesn’t feel right, ask about alternatives. As with any type of doctor, there will be times when you must make he or she explain why this is important and why you should even bother doing this.
There is so much about dental care that only the professionals know. Fortunately, you don’t have to go to school to be educated on this. Just ask your dentist and keep asking them until you get all the answers you need.